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INVERNESS SHERIFF COURT: Inverness man told police he had a gun during tense flat siege on Gilbert Street

By Ali Morrison

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Sheriff Sara Matheson.
Sheriff Sara Matheson.

A PARANOID Inverness man who barricaded himself in a flat and threatened to shoot police during a siege has been jailed.

Alan Craig (55) claimed he was armed and that he would fire on any officers who tried to enter the property in Gilbert Street.

But he was later discovered to be lying about having a gun and was found laying on the floor when police eventually gained access.

During the drama on March 28, 2021 the whole street had to be cordoned off while a firearms unit of seven officers were called in, Inverness Sheriff Court heard.

The court was told their armed colleagues tried to engage with him initially.

However, he refused to cooperate and they had to force their way into the flat despite a blocked door.

The initial call-out was for police to carry out a welfare check on the occupants of the flat.

Craig previously admitted threatening or abusive behaviour and threatening to shoot police officers.

Appearing for sentencing, he also admitted obstructing police officers in Huntly Place and Abban Street by resisting arrest during a separate incident on June 30 this year.

He was also threatening and abusive when taken to Burnett Road police station later that day.

Craig, now of Muirtown Street, repeatedly shouted and swore as well as using his own faeces to write on the cell wall.

Fiscal depute Naomi Duffy-Welsh said: “The incident took place on June 30.

“Police were asked to attend at the locus.

“The accused attempted to make off on foot.

“Police traced him nearby.

“He put his hands behind his back and refused to put them in front of him.”

The court heard that officers then deployed pepper spray. Ms Duffy-Welsh continued: “He said to them ‘do you have HIV? Do you want HIV?’

“When asked if he was armed, he said he had weapons on him.”

Defence agent Marc Dickson said his client suffered from “paranoia” and “deteriorating” mental health.

The solicitor said: “He appears as someone of a paranoid orientation.

“I think he realises that.

“Prior to the pandemic he had a good support network.”

Sheriff Sara Matheson sentenced Craig to 54 days in custody, backdated to when he was first remanded on July 1.

He was also placed on a community payback order with an element of supervision for 18 months.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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